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Topics - Becke Davis

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In 2019 I discovered one of the most kick-ass women I've come across in any form of mystery: Zoe Sharp's CHARLIE FOX.

David Baldacci's Atlee Pine isn't quite as tough as Charlie Fox, but she's pretty good at taking care of herself in a crisis:

Lisa Gardner's Detective D.D. Warren succeeds in a mainly mens' world:

Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone has emerged, undaunted, from over a dozen mysteries

V.I. Warshawski, Sara Paretsky's tough detective is not quite as minimalist as Lee Child's Jack Reacher, but she comes close. You wouldn't want to mess with her, or her small posse of friends.

Tess Gerritsen's Rizzoli and Isles are one of my favorite female crime-solving duos.

Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher is much more than a pretty face and a fashion plate, but you have to read the books to get a clear picture of her strengths.

Stieg Larssen's Lisbeth Salander is well-known to anyone who followed his GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO books.

This is just a few to get the conversation started. Who are your favorite kick-ass heroines? Do you like mysteries where females take the lead or do you prefer a crime-solving partnership of some sort?


When it's cold outside and the days are still too short, it's the perfect time to sit by the fire sipping tea, hot chocolate, wine or whatever...while reading a cozy (or even cozy-ish) crime novel!

Tell us your favorite cozy novels and the authors of your favorite cozy series.

If you write cozies, introduce yourself and tell us about your books.

Let's make this short month go faster - join the discussion, right here, right now!

Welcome and General Discussion / R.I.P. Mary Higgins Clark
« on: February 01, 2020, 04:33:22 pm »
Wow, I kind of thought she'd live forever. Just saw the news that Mary Higgins Clark, age 92, has died.

I'm guessing most of you are familiar with her books. I'm pretty sure I've read all of them, including the books she co-authored with Alafair Burke.

Back when I moderated the Mystery Forum at, we ran special features throughout the year. Within the framework of these features, authors would be invited to join the conversation and tell us about their books, plus the forum participants could share their favorite books and/or authors and, if they chose to, they could write a short blog about the featured topic and share it on the thread for the featured topic.

Some topics to consider: Cozy and Cozyish Books, Thrillers, Psychological Suspense, Vintage Mysteries, Romantic Suspense, Historical Mysteries, mysteries set in particular cities or countries, pet mysteries, military/espionage mysteries, and so on.

What would you like see featured here?

Favorites / David Baldacci
« on: January 28, 2020, 03:11:25 pm »
David Baldacci is a best-selling thriller writer. Like Harlan Coben and Linwood Barclay, Baldacci is a must-read for me. I just started his latest, A MINUTE TO MIDNIGHT.

I went through his book list and realized I've read at least one book from each of his series books, but I've read nearly all of his stand-alones.

I think I've read all of his MEMORY MAN books - I love the premise:

"Amos Decker is a valuable asset to the police force: a highly skilled investigator with a perfect memory, the result of a traumatic sports injury. Decker’s inability to forget anything makes him a wonderful detective, but it’s also a curse for a man who has seen things he would rather not remember."

One of his stand-alones really resonated with me:

Welcome and General Discussion / J.K. Rowling
« on: January 17, 2020, 12:11:20 am »
I've read all the Harry Potter books and so have both of my kids. My favorite was the first book in the series. I was hesitant to see the movies but on the whole, I liked them. And I am so thankful for J.K. Rowling writing the books that made my not-a-fan-of-reading son shut himself in his bedroom so he could read these books without interruption. His daughters might be too young for the movies but they LOVE them (except the scene where Dobby dies, that makes them sad). My son, daughter-in-law and both girls went to Harry Potter Universal in Hollywood over Christmas break and now they are constantly casting spells on us and on each other. Our library is having a Harry Potter night on February 8 - we are counting the days!

I also really enjoy the Cormorant Strike books by Robert Galbraith aka J.K. Rowlings. I've read them all like them a lot, but don't go into them expecting anything resembling Hogwarts. I didn't realize there was a TV series based on the books until I read about it in the current issue of Mystery Scene. It's on Cinemax, and my husband and I watched the first of three episodes based on the first book. We both are looking forward to the rest of this series!

Have you read the books or seen the TV show? What do you think of them?

I've been reading the latest issue of Mystery Scene and it's already impacted my to-be-read bookcases. I know I've read something by Elly Griffiths but not recently. Since reading this issue, I've picked up five of her books, ordered ONE NIGHT GONE by Tara Laskowski, and preordered Molly MacRae's new book. Every time I flip through this issue, I find more books I want to read. Dangerous!!!!!

If you read Mystery Scene - and I'm assuming a lot of you do - what books have you been inspired to read in recent issues of the magazine?

I go through periods of reading mainly new releases, and then I'll spend a month or two digging into vintage mysteries. While on one of my vintage binges, I came across THE LIST OF ADRIAN MESSENGER by Philip MacDonald. I think he's better known for THE RASP which I thought was okay. I love THE LIST OF ADRIAN MESSENGER and reread it periodically. There is a movie loosely - VERY loosely - based on the book. If I'd known about the movie first, I would never have considered reading the book. The movie was packed with cameos from famous people like Frank Sinatra, but I thought it was atrocious. If someone out there saw it and liked it, well, everybody is different.

Anyway, I've brought up the interesting premise of this book with mystery-loving friends on occasion, and no one had heard of it.

And, speaking of interesting premises, there's an old movie called THE WRONG BOX that is sort of mystery with a touch of slapstick. One word can solve the mystery and explain the plot, but I'm not going to say it. Do any of you remember this movie?

January 6, 2020 marks the 166th birthday of the brilliant Baker Street detective, Sherlock Holmes. Born in Portsmouth, England, the feats of the world-renowned detective continue to amaze readers to this day.

In addition to Holmes' exploits as detailed by Dr. Watson via Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, several modern day authors of expanded on the Holmes legacy:

If I've missed any of your favorite Holmes retellings, share them with us in the comments. If any of the books/series in the links above are favorites of yours, please tell us which ones and why you like them.

What I'm Reading / Just added to my waiting-to-be-read pile.
« on: January 02, 2020, 09:27:14 pm »
I don't know why I continue to buy books when there's no chance I'll ever read through my whole to-be-read-pile in one lifetime, even if I never buy another book or check more out from the library. Today I stopped in the Barnes & Noble store in Bridgeport, OR and added two books to my stacks: an oldie, THE CROOKED HINGE by John Dickson Carr, and a 2018 publication from a series I'm not familiar with: THE VINYL DETECTIVE by Andrew Cartmel. Not sure what number this is in the series, but it's called WRITTEN IN DEAD WAX.

Did any of you add to your book collections over the holidays?

Welcome and General Discussion / Bookmarks?
« on: January 02, 2020, 01:03:18 am »
Assuming you haven't just finished whatever you've been reading, what are you using for a bookmark? I'm about 50 pages into Ruth Ware's THE LYING GAME, and my bookmark is purple. It's a real bookmark, not a random piece of paper or Kleenex that was handy. It says "Smith Family Bookstore" (Eugene, Oregon) and it has images of a sailing ship, a dragon, a pony and other images that make me think of children's books. I picked up a stack of those bookmarks the last time I was in the store.

What's holding your place in the book you're reading today?

Welcome and General Discussion / R.I.P. M.C. Beaton
« on: January 01, 2020, 07:45:47 pm »
My friend Susan Stokes just sent me this link - something especially sad about dying on New Year's Day:

"Prolific writer M C Beaton, creator of the much-loved Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth crime series, has died.

Beaton passed away on 30th December aged 83, after a short illness, her publisher Little, Brown said.

Success came to her later in life but she made up for lost time - since 2011 she had been the most borrowed UK adult author in British libraries and her M C Beaton titles have sold in excess of 21 million copies worldwide," L, B said in a statement. "However, she hated being referred to as a ‘cosy’ writer, saying that if anyone called her books cosy she’d give them a Glasgow Kiss. She always saw herself more as an entertainer than author."

M C Beaton's editor Krystyna Green commented: "I’m going to miss her dreadfully as after 23 years I’d grown from being in awe of her, to thinking she was absolutely wonderful - and very kind under her rather fierce exterior. She was forthright and uncompromising and never afraid to express a view, no matter how unfashionable. She was funny, wise, and truly an inspiring, utterly unique individual. This is just such a sad end to the year."

What I'm Reading / Happy New Year! Are you doing any reading tonight?
« on: December 31, 2019, 11:49:35 pm »
It's quiet at our house tonight. My son and daughter-in-law and our two granddaughters are visiting friends in California. There are 8 kids staying at the house so it's party central! We do have two dogs and three cats to keep us company, and our daughter came over earlier. It's been raining heavily for hours but at least it's too warm for snow. It got up into the 50s today. I've got about 15 minutes to midnight. My husband has on some late night TV show but I wanted to check in quickly and wish you all a very Happy New Year!

We watched two old episodes of Midsomer Murders and a very old episode of a British TV show we used to love - it's called SHOESTRING and it stars the fabulous Trevor Eve. It was one of our favorite shows when we lived in England years ago, and this is the first time it's been available in the U.S.

I also squeezed in some reading today - I'm about half way through Kate Carlisle's THE BOOK SUPREMACY. I like all the details about book binding. :-)

What are you doing tonight?

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